DM: Steve; Characters: Amnesty, Balvazar, Ilbrech, Isleen, Zander
A motley crew of adventurers travelling the High Road approach the southern gates of the grand city of Neverwinter. As they arrive a conversation is ongoing. Do they immediately seek out passage of a ship heading back to Waterdeep? What is the expense? How long will it take? Telos, the half-elf wizard was the fellow tracking and figuring out all the appropriate numbers. But he has recently departed due to some self-imposed turmoil. This leaves the Ilbrech, Isleen, and Amnesty to recalibrate that information. Vesta and Balvazar are 'along for the ride' so they are not as invested in the need to return to Waterdeep, deliver the spell book, and collect their 6.000 gp finder's fee. A payment was given, 10% of the finder's fee; when Mr. Astrid has his spell book he will pay the balance of 5.400 gold yet Mr. Astrid added an important stipulation to the arrangement: he will give them one month to complete the task. After the thirty days if they deliver the spell book he will consider it already paid in full, and no additional payment will be made.
Balvazar recalled Telos mentioning the sea voyage from northern metropolis to southern metropolis was approximately 380 miles depending on the vessel and sailing conditions, it could take as little as 7 days but more likely closer to 8 days. By High Road without interruption, it was some 10-20 miles less but only Ilbrech could make the fast-paced trip in 6 days. The ship, if they arranged passage, could cost 2 gp per mile or 760 gp per person. They were hired by Mr. Astrid on 26th of the previous month, Ches (The Claw of Sunsets) and had one month to return for the full payment, which means the 25th of the current month, Tarsahk (The Claw of Storms). It is now, the early evening of the 13th, the 104th day of the year. Time is critical.
To help Simza, the crew has until the next full moon, which is Greegrass, one day past the last of Tarsahk. Greengrass is a festival to welcome in the first day of spring in the Calendar of Harptos. It occurs annually on a special day between Tarsakh 30 and Mirtul 1. Traditionally, the wealthier people bring out flowers to give to the less wealthy, who either wear them or spread them on the ground to encourage the deities to usher in the summer.
Amnesty explains there is a service, as provided by The Rook Society of the Sword Coast, a messenger service between Neverwinter and Waterdeep. They use birds to carry written messages between the large cities. The charge a silver piece per word up to 25 words. The message is expected to take 2 days for delivery and 2 more days for a response depending on how quickly the respondent acts.
As our band of adventurers reach the gate an hour prior to laststride, dusk. They are charged a toll for entering the city based on who they are or what business they have. Citizens pay 2 cp, adventurers pay 1 sp, all others 5 cp. Merchants are charged 10 sp plus 2 cp per wagon or animal. Once through the gate everyone is amazed at what this city has to offer.
Simza pulls out a small piece of parchment, not having been to Neverwinter in several years. She searched the city after hearing rumours there may be a way to cure her families' bloodline curse of lycanthropy. That is when she came across a cleric named Scroller in a fine tavern called Saint Remy. At first, he seemed doubtful to finding a cure, so she gave him 100 gp to help him research. A few days later he said he found a possible answer, but it was too much of a sacrifice, Simza said no price was too great. He would need 10,000 gp for material components and the fabled spell book of a far-off queen. A queen and sorceress from the lands of the djinn, oceans of sand, and mystic powers beyond imagination. Queen Abasurallah had collected the source of magic known to man in any world. That gave Simza her life's mission.
Now knowing the spell book is actually a spell horn, the filigree tome with a magically locked clasp was distraction. The horn is in safe keeping with Cù. Upon entering the metropolis, the vistana cook is given the colourful horn, Queen Abasurallah's true collection of spells. Now she has to find the cleric again. Amnesty provides some descriptions, guidance, and information of his home city as they walk about including visiting the better bakery well inside the city from the main gate, run by Laery. Amnesty knows the way to Simza's tavern, Saint Remy. Isleen and Ilbrech are more rural rubes and not used to such sights as they find in Neverwinter. They both have spent time in Waterdeep, another grand and glorious metropolitan environ but Neverwinter is much different in its sights, smell, and citizenry. Races and ethnicities abound here, cultural delights and curiosities are around every corner, and clockwork machines are everywhere. Known for its craftsfolk and gardeners, the city's multi-coloured glass lamps, precision water clocks, exquisite jewelry, and magnificent gardens ensure the warm winters were colourful and the summers are rich with fresh fruit. Balvazar is also impressed, his homeworld of Theros has large cities but this one is much different than he is used to.
Nearing the tavern, the tiefling semi-native recognises a woman of distinction leaving the establishment. A noble looking dragonborn woman. The bard thinks quickly and proposes the two large, intimidating men find comfort in the tavern whilst he escorts the ladies to another location that might better suit their needs in finding such a cleric as Scroller.
* * *
Aldin and his crew, the Larceny Lot sit quietly in Saint Remy's tavern. He ponders his options; he is torn between two impossible choices. Normally a cautious man, Aldin Seascribe, who goes by many other names including Dinny Scroller and Albie Scrivner, leads a group of grifters. One of his own selection and grooming. Though not an old man by any means, he has a lifetime or two of experience in the 'game'.
Gjord'n delivers some drinks to the table of the Larceny Lot: Leads, Leans, Learns, Leaves, Locks, Lures. Everyone has a codename, but then again most everyone has an alias as well. Aldin, Almus, Amnesia, Freaks, Sabry, and Vazztra, rather Lady Vazztra. There is one more, but he is missing, that is what Leads or Aldin or Dinny or Albie is focusing on. His situation, the missing member, is of his own choosing, the consequences are for his actions. Does Aldin work to get him back or let things lie? There is the dilemma.
The young tall blond human leader asks his mentor Vazztra to head back to Strummings and Co. to ask if Jarvis has heard anything. The Larceny Lot is not the group dynamic needed in this situation; adventurers are needed but what adventuring group does Seascribe know? She exits her usual haunt. Normally she spends time here with the others in the Larceny Lot at some other tavern or the music shoppe.
"Aldin, a Dragonborn coming in. Mithral armour, magic headband, magic sword, magic shield, and a paladin to boot. He has a goliath with him too with a spear as big as Three Socks," informs Sabry.
"That is not where I got the name, and he is not a goliath, looks more half-giant or even half half-giant." The goblin named Frirx yet goes by Freaks is not amused.
"Do you have the amulets my love?" Aldin asks of the attractive tiefling Amnesia.
"She is not your love." Freaks is frustrated with Aldin's casual familiarity to the young tiefling.
"Don't let him tease you." Smiles Amnesia.
Seacribe motions his remaining crew, "Places, today its Leaves as a waiter, Locks and Lures you are an interested party. Gjord'n won't let anything slip. So, Learns are you ready?"
Across the room at the entrance, two large fellows enter, obviously new to this establishment. Balvazar, a white dragonborn paladin standing 6'3" armed and armoured. Ilbrech, a bare-chested human variant barbarian with hideous facial scars on one side standing 6'5" with a pike-sized spear he calls Tosg Báis. The two large strangers find a table quickly, the tavern is not busy at the moment. Considering the hour, at little strange, but there you have it. What few patrons the tavern has are well dressed or well-off. The pair of large warriors, one finely adorned the other raggedy attracts attention especially since they have a small pug dog with them.
The dragonborn sits whilst the Northlander buys two large stout ales. Balvazar notices an attractive tiefling sitting with a tall, well-dressed human male. He overhears their conversation, something to the effect that she is interested in the job he evidently is offering, he claims he has other young ladies interested in the position. She appears too eager for the job though. He has her name but will need time to consider the situation. He leaves. She is visibly upset.
The blond half-elf waiter comes by to collect 2/6 (2 silver, 6 copper). The young woman scoffs at the tab, she only had two ales. The waiter claims the gentleman she was sitting with had two goblets of wine, hence 2/6 is owed. She does not have the money with her, but she is staying in a hostel around the corner from Saint Remy. He demands payment. She sobs. She offers up a small stringed medallion, a cat's head. It was her gramp's good luck charm given to her by her gran. She claims it is worth at least 5 silver, if not more. She will leave it as collateral while she grabs her purse at the hostel. The waiter says he is not a pawn broker, she sobs again. He agrees yet mutters he will be stuck with the bill and his boss will take if from his wages.
She thanks him and leaves. A goblin sitting with an attractive human woman a few tables over calls for the waiter, he asks to see the necklace, he casts Detect Magic then mentions to the woman, "You know what this is, of course. It's genuine, it radiates the right magic, a green aura." The woman takes the cat's head to examine. She points out is more than the standard charm, this one is more potent, and rare; the green aura is deeper, richer in colour. Balvazar is able to hear all of this. The goblin offers the waiter 100 gold for the cat's head necklace. The waiter's eyes go wide, he considers it but then says it is not his and he cannot sell it. It belongs to a young tiefling woman; the goblin tells him the girl does not know what she has, and he doesn't think she be back. The waiter considers his words but again declines.
Sounds of a clock chimes mid-hour between tharsun and laststride. The goblin says he and his companion have an important meeting to attend. The goblin claims to be an artificer with a shoppe mid-city, Gringotts. The waiter is to tell the girl he will buy the necklace from her for 250 gp. The goblin and human woman leave. The waiter takes the necklace to bartender and speak to him for a moment. The half-elf then heads upstairs to wait tables there for a moment or two.
The young tielfing returns. She looks about for the waiter then goes to the bar. The tender produces the necklace from under the bar and hands it to her, she gives him some coins and begins to leave.
Ilbrech had picked up from the bar a small plate of loose scrap meat, old bread, and cheese remnants. He nibbles but mainly he feeds Cù. Balvazar excuses himself from the table and head to the bar, hoping to speak with the attractive blue-skinned, white hair woman. "So, your grandfather gave you that necklace?"
The tielfing woman turns unexpectantly, "Excuse me? Ah, my gran gave it me though it did belong to my gramps. How did you know? I was his good luck charm and my gran insisted I have it when I came to the city."
"I hear a lot. Good ears. As it happens, I heard another pair of patrons, actually a goblin offered the waiter a good sum for the necklace. If you like, I have the ability to detect magic and could identify any special qualities your necklace may have."
The cute tiefling girl seems uninterested or unaware of the paladin's offer. She states she could not sell her grandfather's good luck charm. It has been in the family for a long while. He continues to offer to tell her what power it possesses; she claims good luck, but it is apparent she believes he will charge her for the service, and she cannot afford his offer. "I can Detect Magic right here, no charge. I am curious myself." He detects green abjuration magic with a brilliance not normally seen in common magic items. The medallion is a polished agate cat's head with two sparkling ruby eyes. Balvazar could believe this is a stronger version of this charm.
The paladin ponders his options, he would like to acquire the medallion, actually he has been thinking of purchasing such an item. But this one is more potent than one he might normally find and buy on his own. Perhaps a trade instead of a pure gold transaction. He heard the young woman was interested in a job, how might he help her in that endeavour? If the paladin says her good luck charm is truly magical then she is even more confident she has the employment she seeks. She is interested in becoming a bard but lacks talent but if she worked at a music shoppe she could learn and maybe develop other skills. Balvazar claims to know a renowned bard who he believes would be willing to help her. He speaks of course of his new friend, a male tiefling named Amnesty.
She is intrigued and grateful, but slightly suspicious as they only just met. He is making a generous offer of his friend as a favour. Right now, she needs employment of the music store to help support her grandmother, she cannot afford to apprentice with a master bard, especially if he is a wandering minstrel. The dragonborn finally makes a monetary offer of 100 gp. He tells her a 'normal' charm is worth 50-70 gp but this one is better than normal. She hesitates to remember her grandmother. He offers the good luck could be in the form of needed money. She considers she had the charm when she met the music shoppe owner so she probably already has the job, if not she can find Balvazar's friend and train with him. She asks for 150 gp. He offers her 130 gp. She is in desperate need. She agrees as he is a paladin, and she trusts him. She holds the medallion close to her heart and offers a quick prayer. She needs to care for her gran yet make good choices. She gives up the cat's head necklace and takes the 130 gold in a small purse. She is late and must leave. She thanks the paladin again and offers a big smile, she believes she made the right choice. Balvazar states he is new to town, but should she return to Saint Remy in the next day or two she could probably find him there or he can leave word.
* * *
Simza, Fleurie, Vesta, and Isleen continue to follow Amnesty. They see the dragonborn lady the tiefling is trailing yet none of them notice that is what he is doing. She moves with grace and style, her clothing and demeanor match her movements. Her black gown is accented with bronze and green. She is adorned with a small matching hat and a black net veil covering her face. The bard is keen to observe her movements and estimate her destination but he is attentive to whether the noble woman has noticed him and his party.
Lady Vazztra signals the six horse trolley to stop so she can board. The women with Amnesty are intrigued by the public conveyance. They walk behind the large open two-storey wagon. After several city blocks the trolley stops again with Lady Vazztra disembarking mere feet from Strummings and Co., a music shoppe that sells music and instruments, as well as repairs instruments--common and exotic. The shoppe is run by the Jarvis siblings, a family business started by their parents years ago and taken over by the siblings after their parent passed.
No one notices a well dressed tall man jump off the trolly on the opposite side. He quickly take off several articles of clothing to complete change his appearance. His clothes are now of a poor street beggar, threadbare and faded.
The female party led by the bard see a multitude of races not normally seen in Waterdeep: firbolgs, tieflings, changelings, dragonborn, orc and half-orcs, eladrin, aarakocra and various elves. Also a plethora of ethnicities: Maztican, Calishite, Illuskan, Chodathan, Mulan, Turami, Vestani, and others. Then the women notice across the street ...
A tall blond man in commmon street clothes, clears his throat in such a way as to attract attention. He coughs uncontrollably such that every notices him. Nearly gagging people start to move away as if they don’t want to catch what he has. He struggles, stumbles and stoops over a barrel. Finally, he knocks it over and everyone in the street is paying attention. Suddenly, he jumps upright knocking over the barrel. He then leaps upon the rounded side and balances awkwardly before standing erect perfectly still on the upended empty pickle barrel.
"My fellows in this grand City of Skilled Hands, visitors to the Jewel of the North, allow me to harken you to an extraordinary tale of unbelievable victory of the bantam over the titanic. The Battle of Azhen Fort, those Stout Halflings led by Quartermass who stood against Oratrosh, Half-Orc Warrior-Chieftain.
"The half-orcs had the high ground, had superior numbers, had horses and armour. The half-orcs had the battlefield won before the skirmish ever began. For all the advantages, the half-orcs also had Oratrosh, perhaps the greatest half-orc warrior in generations. Battle after battle, Oratrosh was victorious. No matter the fray, no matter the clash, no matter the engagement, Oratrosh used his cunning, his charisma, his calculus to overcome his adversary. He used tactics, strategy, and the battlefield itself to out manoeuvre his opponent time and time again.
"Half-orcs, not known for building strong alliances amongst their own, rarely fought in large numbers but Oratrosh changed that. He brought together tribe after tribe, clan after clan, the dispossessed, the shunned, and the forgotten. He forged a true army of half-orcs. He led them to victory, to triumph, to success, and ultimately to conquest.
"Now--There came a time, a diminutive person, found the vale of vales, the dell of dells, the glade of glades, the valley of valleys, the hollow of hollows. It was upon the ancient field of Azhen Fort. Long since abandoned. Long ago laid to dust, this mighty fort was the citadel of a great people. Lost to history was all anyone knew of Azhen Fort. A serene glen, green, lush, and ripe for a new community. Such came the Hin--the quick folk, the good folk, what others called the sly folk. Those halflings built a homestead.
"Then came a dark, sunless day that stretched into a tenday. Oratrosh, too, came to Azhen Fort with the purpose of creating a mighty half-orc community. He found his promised land filled with halflings. In a rage he rode down upon dale and slaughtered the interlopers to what he believed was his rightful land. He then built his settlement.
"Halflings survivors left. Resigned they had lost their claim and their home for good. They crossed paths with Quartermass, a small halfling, even for halflings he was small. But large was his passion, his courage, his heart. He heard their story. They who were displaced. He asked if those halflings wished to return, to rebuild, to restore their glen. They said yes. He asked if those halflings wished to flourish, to forge, to flower in their strath once more. They said yes. He then said unto them, he would lead a band of bantam brothers to reclaim the canyon of Azhen Fort.
"The half-orcs who took Azhen Fort built quickly, as Oratrosh took the ridge above as his seat of power and dominion. He began construction of the new fort of Azhen atop his people's new home. Then came a pocket-sized rider, an emissary asking for a parlay. Quartermass wished to negotiate a resolution to the dispute of Azhen Fort. Oratrosh would have none of it, he sent back the halfing herald with 6000 cuts, a sign of his resolve and strength. His half-orc army was 6000 strong. Quartermass had but 88 stout halflings. The minute leader sent another message, either compromise or meet upon the field of Azhen Fort in three days. There was no compromise with Oratrosh.
"Came the early morn, a misty foggy morning. Cold and damp. The field was wet, soggy and difficult terrain. Oratrosh sat upon the ridge above, his most battle-tested warriors were armoured and mounted like He. The rest stood ready to descend upon the gloomy valley with victory already assured.
"Quartermass stood before his undersized militia, most with fear in their eyes. They stood before Quartermass determined to follow him yet resolute they fought for a lost cause. He stood in silence. Light rain fell sullen. Then he spoke after one of his lieutenants asked if he was ready, if they the stout halflings were ready, if they were enough in numbers and spirit.
What's he that wishes so?
My cousin, Applewood? No, my fair Erret Applewood;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enough.
To sleep evermore; and if to live,
The fewer hobbits, the greater share of honour.
Yondalla's will! I pray thee, wish not one halfman more.
By Arvoreen, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my brethren, wish not a lightfoot from The Shire.
Yondalla's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one halfling more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Applewood, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And coins for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that halfling's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Cyrrollalee.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Cyrrollalee.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Cyrrollalee's Day."
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say "These wounds I had on Cyrrollalee's day."
Old halflings forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words—
Quartermass, Rosesurge and Warmleaf, Thistlewood and Nimbeheart, Hogmane and Thornbramble—
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good hobbit teach his son;
And Cyrrollalee shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of bantam brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in The Shire now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Cyrrollalee's day.
"The battle was struck, rode down upon the halflings did Oratrosh's horde of half-orcs. Rode down upon the undersized army. Rode down mighty, strong, and massive. Who can say what truly happened, what fates aligned. By the high sun, the fog had lifted. By mid-day the field of battle was plain to see. There upon the field of Azhen Fort lie dead or dying a sea of half-orcs, once tallied the number above 5.700. There stood Quartermass and his bantam brothers, 14 had fallen yet 74 plus their leader stood standing. Oratrosh, who had not known defeat had lost. His humbled honourable huge stature conceded. He for the first time he yielded the battle to the victor that was not him. Allowed to collect as many of his fellow half-orcs as he could, he left never to be heard of again.
"That day, Cyrrollalee's day is also the day of Quartermass. She who is Cyrrollalee is the halfling deity of trust, friendship, and hospitality. He who is Quartermass is the champion of Azhen Fort, stout halfling hero."
The captivated crowd breaks its stillness in sudden pause. Then, they all burst out in applause, with cheering and huzzahs. Coins are tossed. Many find a wetness in their eyes, some allow a tear to fall upon their cheek. The tall blond raggedy man with cheap, dirty clothes takes a bow, deap and grateful. His long arms reach the ground and his lanky hands begin picking up money given freely.
Amnesty, Fleurie, and Isleen are caught up in the moment, they too cheer and praise the story and the orator. Of course, Amnesty knows the human busker. Simza enjoyed the tale but finds herself staring at the blond man. Vesta also enjoyed the grand performance. She tosses a coin or two herself. Young Fleurie is completely captivated by Aldin Seascribe. She even blushes slightly when he looks up from his collection and smiles broadly at her, then gives her a wink. She is flush with excitement, even lust as she feels her womanhood ripen in his presence.
The women are taking in the spectical of the big city and what it has to offer. A rousing bardic tale completes the experience. Amnesty begs to separate from the group for a brief moment, the woman he saw earlier has popped into the music shoppe and he wants a quick interlude to she if she is who he thinks she is.
The vistana cook takes the arm of Vesta and Isleen, "That man, he looks familiar." But how or why. "He reminds me of the cleric, Cleric Scroller." Isleen gasps in disbelief. Vesta smirks and thinks to herself--why not, stranger things have happened.
The changeling ranger in the guise of an elf breaks away to quickly approach the busker as he collects his due. "Are you a cleric?" The excitable, sometimes naive woman is blunt.
"Do I look like a cleric?" retorts the street performer. He picks up several more coins, even one under the ranger's boot. Isleen shrugs. "I am but a humble bard. I am Aldin Seascribe."
The green haired lass with flowers blooming in her hair, continues in a single breath. "Did you used to be a cleric? My friend recognised you. We are looking for cleric she knew. She said you kinda look familiar. But she is not entirely sure. So I am just curious. If you are a cleric that would be great. Did I mention we are looking for cleric. Are you, I mean were you a cleric before? Before now I mean."
"My fair maiden, the answer I give is no." His soft blue eyes are so sincere, and filled with warmth and friendly thoughts. Isleen is sure he is earnest in his response. He is so handsome.
Still not detered, "Do you have a twin brother? A twin that is maybe a cleric? That would make sense, wouldn't it? Yes, I think that is possible. Do you have a twin brother?"
"Nay my dear lady. I am unique. I doubt my mother could have ever raised two of me, I am a singlarity. Ask any woman I know and they will confirm I am a bit too much for one woman. More than a handful I assure you. If there was another like me, I would know. The Jewel of the North would know. No, I do not have a twin, brother or other. Dare I ask, do you have a twin sister? Such beauful soul as yours would be hard to contain within one body. Surely you have a twin? Why else would you ask if I had such? Do you have a twin?" She shakes her head and responds in the negative. "Alas, that is a true shame. If you had a twin sister, and I a twin brother, we could double date. Your beauty and my charm would do well on a date."
Isleen begins to add to her list of questions but is cut short. "I love the blooms in your hair. Are those natural flowers, truly growing from your hair?" She nods. "Dare I pluck one? Mayhap two or three?" Isleen is a little overwhelmed. She is not used to someone talking as much as she or even more than she. He gathers several blooms to create a fetching bouquet which he then presents to her with a bow. She smiles and even appears demure for a moment. "Apologies gracious young lady, a course action I am obliged to enact as I must depart and leave your enchanting presence." With that he quickly takes off as if on an urgent mission to rescue a kitten stuck high in a tree.
Isleen informs Simza this is not the cleric they are looking, she sighs romantically.
The Crit Crew bard is witness to all of this as he ducks into the front door of Strummings and Co. Behind a small counter is Margis, co-owner of the music shoppe. She smiles warmly as she greets a long lost friend. Amnesty takes in the smells of the wooden instruments, memories of various melodies playing on different chordophones and aerophones, and found recollections of good times in this small, humble shoppe. He introduces himself in an awkward, unfamiliar way. Margis is confused yet plays along as though they have not met. The tiefling bard claims to have been in the shoppe sometime prior though it has been a long while and thought he saw a friend enter. A noble dragonborn is described and he affirms that is her. He is pointed to the back room and is welcome to go through.
* * *
Passing through some curtains, the red faced tiefling enters a large backroom. Sized for storage but arranged as a meeting lounge with comfortable seats, work benches, a small fireplace, and sideboard with drink and food. In this anteroom are three people, the noble dragonborn woman, a male goblin, and a human woman. Amnesty lightly raps on the threshold frame to quietly announce his return.
Vazztra, most acquaintances refer to her as Lady Vazztra. No one really knows how old she is. Standing 5'10", 143 lbs., with green (bronze) scales, blue eyes, dressed as noble woman. She has led a remarkable life as a former adventurer but rarely gives details. She tells vague stories, almost as parables, but it is obvious there is so much more just below the surface. Designate: Leans.
Frirx Iatmoilt, prefers going by "Freaks" but has gained the nickname Three Socks. Skilled in working with his hands. Small and intricate parts like locks and boxes are his specialty. Clockwork artificer, mechanic, tinkerer. Three Socks, as he is also known, is 3'6", 42 lbs, bald, yellow green skin, and brown eyes. Suspicious by nature but tempered by his relationships in the Larceny Lot. Designate: Locks.
Sabry Winsome, an attractive woman near 30 years of age, long black hair (various styles), sultry brown eyes, fair skin, stylish (if functional) gown, 5'8", 121 lbs. Always well-dressed and well-groomed. Funny, engaging, alluring, and easy to talk to. Your new best friend and confidant. Very knowledgeable about Neverwinter but does not like to gossip. Graceful and confident yet has an innocence about her without being an ingénue. Designate: Lures.
The two woman, full of wonderment and glee, are surprised to the return of the prodigal son. Freaks, on the other hand, is none-too-surprised or happy. He grunts to display his displeasure. "That was quite the story," comments Amnesty, referring to Aldin's telling of The Story of Quatermass and the Battle of Azhen Fort. "How long has that legend been in the works?"
"That is one of Aldin's first classic tales. He began his career with that one. He has since replaced it with others but goes back to it everyone once in a blue moon. I guess he was feeling nostalgic." Vazza explains, having known the Larceny Lot boss the longest.
Aldin Seacribe, young handsome human, works for music shoppe Strummings and Co., owned by Margis and Edgy Jarvis. He is 6'2", 185 lbs, blue eyes, blond hair. Always with a smile and advice for those willing to listen. Consumate entertainer though known to be moody on occasion runs the Larceny Lot: A collection of rogues and scoundrels. A cadre of finessers, grifters, confidence folk, mountebanks, gafflers, and swindlers, they are a collection of long con grifters working in and around Neverwinter. With their shills, the Larceny Lot look for their mark or gull, to swindle the greedy, wealthy, and corrupt. According to Aldin, "You can not con an honest person." Designate: Leads. Yet he goes by many other names as well, including Dinny Scroller, cleric.
Sabry asks, "Did Aldin see you during his recitation?"
"The crowd was sizable and generous, so I doubt he noticed me."
Through a rear doorway comes another tiefling. A beautiful female, 5'7", 123 lbs, light blue skin, dark double bent horns, black eyes, white hair, lilac lips full and sensual, displaying an innocence in her manner and motion. Older than her brother Amnesty, Amnesia is book smart, crafty, and clever. She jingles a small purse with 130 gold pieces above Freaks worktable. She produces a genuine Stone of Good Luck medallion. "Sold another one."
It takes only a moment before Amnesia, aka Learns seeks her brother. She runs into his arms with a warm embrace and kiss on the cheek. She then pulls back and shoves his shoulder, "Where in the Nine Hells of Baator have you been?"
Amnesty spends to time explaining, in brief, his departure and return with adventures in the middle. As her sibling speaks, the white haired beauty moves back to Freaks and drops the purse then rubs his bald head tickling his ear tips. The goblin empties the small bag and stacks the gold coins by currency stamp and shape, confirms the 130 count, notates the take in two separate books then slides the gold into an open drawer under his worktable. Finally, the tielfing gives the goblin a kiss upon his cheek. For the first time that morning Freaks smiles. But only briefly.
Sabry takes Amnesty's hand and guides him into the backroom. He sits between Vazztra and Sabry. He is slightly taken aback by the affection betwixt his sister and Freaks. His is offered a small glass of wine which he quickly downs and motions for another. Aldin enters from the same curtained opening as the Crit Crew bard. The Larceny Lot bard gestures a large bow in greeting and gratitude as the other lightly applaude. The blond entertainer then deposits several coins of various size and denomination upon the flat surface before the goblin.
Freaks agains smiles, this time it lasts for several minutes as he sorts, collects, and stacks the coins. The tally is noted and whisked away into his money drawer. Everyone seems happy for the moment. Amnesty expresses his appreciation for Aldin's storytelling even commenting on the background music he heard. Freaks had rigged a clockwork music box just outside the shoppe timed for the performance. It was subtle enough most in the crowd did not even notice yet felt its presences during the Quartermass speech to his fellow halflings. Aldin then asks, "The redhead with you?"
"Friends I have met along my journey," replies the younger bard.
"She was a mark. It was several years ago but I recall I took 100 gold from her." He is referring to Simza's auburn hair. It appears more red in the dusk light. "Why did you bring her back? I am sure she is looking for me, or at least the man she knew as Scroller."
"I did not know she was a mark of yours. That must have been before my time."
"I had an elf come up to me and ask if I was cleric. In my rags, as a vagabond and orator she asked if I was a cleric. Certainly the mark recognised me."
The tiefling bard explains his relationship, in part, to redhead and the elf. He comments how odd it is that she had returned. Aldin comment how interesting it is that Amnesty has also returned. For good, or is he 'passing through'? Aldin then asks if this new band that Amnesty as joined is in direct competition with the Larceny Lot. He is quickly assured they are not, they are adventurers. Good at taking things after killing monsters and the like but not skilled at swindling or subtly conning people.
The woman mentioned Saint Remy and cleric Scroller, both which he recognised immediately but her desires and the confluence of the Larceny Lot does complicate matters for Amnesty. Aldin recommends taking his new friends around the city to see various sights, stopping off at a good tavern or two, then being on their merry way. As a counter, Amnesty suggests he has been thinking about things since hearing the name Scroller. Aldin sent her away years ago to find a fictious book and gather 10.000 gold. It then occurs to the elder bard, "Does she have 10.000 gold? If she has the gold then we can continue the grift."
Amnesty does not mention the book found, nor does he know if she truly has that much money. Aldin clarifies the matter, "If she does have the gold, tell her you have found the cleric Scroller. And you can meet with him at Saint Remy tomorrow, just after noon." Amnesty confirms the woman is really a werewolf, a woman cursed with lycanthropy. This fact surprises Aldin. He is somewhat skeptical but willing to continue the long con if she is willing to part with the large sum of money. It is up to Amnesty, if they are at Saint Remy they can continue, if not he will consider the matter closed and expect they not cross paths again.
Amnesty exits the music shoppe.
* * *
Balvazar returns to the table with Ilbrech, the barbarian notices the medallion before the paladin slips it into a pouch claiming it is a fake. His ability to detect magic is still active and the cat's head in no longer radiating green abjuration magic. The dragonborn of Theros is content knowing he was swindled and the young female tiefling got away. The agate and red glass cat's head is attractive enough as is.
The two warriors notice a human wizard entering Saint Remy. Telos had left word several days previous that he was travelling to Neverwinter and while there needed to pay his guild dues for the multiple guilds, he belongs to including wizard, artificer, cartographer, and merchant. Zander is one of three local wizards tasked to find and greet Telos. Each, Castalex, Pollor, and Zander were assigned a handful of taverns and inns to search. The description of Telos was vague, half-elf with raven familiar travelling with a female elf ranger, yet he also was travelling a fiery-winged fairy blood hunter woman and a large bare-chested human in plaid trousers carrying a halberd-sized spear. Ilbrech meets that description, yet no half-elf is currently with him. Only a pug dog with a leather cap and pug-sized saddle bags and a white/silver dragonborn male, cold blue eyes, tall yet not broad of shoulder, upon the mithral armour is a stone circle etched with a leaf. The paladin is as tall as the curious wizard.
Zander, a Evocation wizard is also 6'2" like Balvazar, wearing robes and a cloak, a set of bracers that Ilbrech recognises as similar to the monk Kaettfalf, and an amulet. He approaches the two men and dog. "Excuse me," directing his comment to the scarred barbarian. "I am looking for a man named Taelos, I was told I might find him the presence of a person matching your description."
The Northlander spearman turns to his companion, "Aye, someone is looking for Telos?"
The Theros paladin replies, "Maybe, maybe not. I did not know anyone was looking for Telos. Good fellow, where did you come from?"
"Beg pardon?" The wizard has trouble with the accent.
"We might know him, or perhaps not. What's your business?"
"I, sir, represent the Wizard's Guild. Taelos sent word to our guildhall he would miss his annual dues renewal but wished to meet after arriving in Neverwinter to correct that fact. He also wished to consult a local wizard, and I was sent to meet his needs."
"Aye, have a seat. We'll get yee a drink. There is a tale to tell of Telos but be warned I be no bard." A stout ale is ordered, Ilbrech passes over the untouched goblet of wine Balvazar ordered earlier. The barbarian is not fond of fermented grapes, he prefers hard cider or a strong ale. "I thought he was a boon companion who travelled with us. There was a group of six initially. We lost two but gained one. We gained a second. Then the first new one and an original member left or disappeared. We gained another, then gained a fourth. Not being good at maths, that brings us back to six--three original and three new. Then Telos, an original had it out with someone we agreed to help so he left in the middle of night, last night be told, with nary an explanation. So, if you be looking for Telos? I can nae say where he be. He may be in this grand city or gone elsewhere. Yee be welcome to stay until the return of Isleen, she may have more information on Telos. He was acting a wee bit peculiar afore his row with the cook."
* * *
Amnesty leaves Strummings and Co., outside he speaks with Vesta, Isleen, and Simza. Fleurie is still in a state of bewilderment looking about this city. Never has she seen such grandeur. People, so many people. Buildings, so many building of size, height, colour, and style. Busy, so very busy as people and animals and wagons and such moving all about. Variety, so many eclectic styles of dress, weapons, signs, buildings, people, and smells.
Isleen explains to Simza and Amnesty that the street husker was not a cleric, there is doubt in her voice. Simza recognised him so Isleen believes there is something there Aldin was hiding. Amnesty is confused and does not know how to elaborate on the conversation. Perhaps a drink is in order, it being near sundown. Simza and Vesta look to Amnesty for answers, he too knows something but is holding back. Vesta asks if Amnesty knows the busker, he does. Simza asks if Aldin could be Scroller or know Scroller. The bard's body language gives aways everything he knows, everything he wants to say, and all of his secrets regarding the music shoppe. Unfortunately, none of the ladies knows how to properly read his body language so they form their own conclusion, most of them wrong. They will need the tiefling to fully explain himself and their circumstances, especially regarding Simza.
The bard and ladies all head back to Saint Remy, the women look about hoping to find the location amongst all the commotion, brouhaha, and clatter that is this metropolis. Amnesty knows his way easily and leads the way. At the upscale tavern, at least for Isleen, they find three men at a table. Balvazar and Ilbrech seem to be entertaining another gentleman. In robes, human, tale, and very mage-like. The changeling ingénue is quick to notice the third man and introduce herself after asking him who he is. Her voice in hign in pitch though not piercing or grating, and fast paced. Zander gives his name after which Ilbrech explains to him Isleen is the ranger he spoke of earlier. Then to Isleen and Vesta that Zander is a wizard looking for Telos. That immediately raises suspicion in Vesta and Simza.
Over the next thirty minutes, food is ordered and eaten, drink is plentiful, and all get to know one another. Isleen explains the circumstances, as she sees it, of Telos and his leaving last night. She asks Zander if he is looking to adventure. Vesta asks if Zander knows Telos or even met him before, to which the new wizard says no. Simza comments on the poor food quality considering Saint Remy looks to be more upscale than the typical adventurer's tavern. Fleurie is intrigued by the new wizard, to her his attractive but lacks an engaging quality. Balvazar explains how he got taken and by who, Amnesty instantly recognises his sister Amnesia and Almus, the waiter. The goblin and woman would have been Freaks and Sabry. And though Aldin was not well described it is likely he was the person Amnesia was speaking with. Amnesty explains his 'family' is a group of finessers, swindlers. Sometimes with the short con, often going for the long con but rarely stealing outright, such as a cutpurse. Amnesty was more the distraction, his voice, musical skill, good looks, and outward charm.
Simza is now flustered, she wants to know if Aldin is a cleric. The tiefling bard explains his is not a cleric, per se, rather he uses Dinny Scroller or Cleric Scroller as an alternate identity. An alias. Actually, everyone in the group has at least one pseudonym, some have multiple. Aldin has multiple, several, in fact; one is Cleric Scroller. The vistana woman is angered, her skin goes flush with rage. She was told by the 'cleric' to find Queen Abasurallah's spell book and gather 10.000 gp to finance the cure. She has the book. She has the funds. Can Scroller or Aldin or whatever his name is cure her? She pulls out the small tome then she empties a small purse full of cut gems, a sapphire cache. "So, what am I to do?"
Isleen turns to Zander looking for an outsider's perspective. She explains Simza's dilemna. "If this cleric is truly a grifter, a con artist then he lied. If he lied about one thing, then he probably lied about everything. I am not sure I have enough to go beyond that. But he may want the money and the spell book for different purpose. So, I would have the young lady, Simza is it? I would have her, or you find a different way, a different solution to her curse." Answer the human wizard. As the mage speaks, the auburn haired vistana cook pulls the multi-coloured horn out of Cù's canine haversack. Vesta demonstrates the horn's spell book ability. She thinks of a spell then blows the horn, in elven and common her spell is recited. Vesta then repeats the audio spell and casts Dancing Lights. Zander, too tries to cast the same spell after reciting the common words he heard but it does not work. Vesta then gives the horn to Ilbrech and has tells him to think of Dancing Lights. Ilbrech states he is not a magic user and cannot cast such a spell, Vesta urges him to try. He concentrates on what he witnessed with Vesta's spell and blows the horn. He repeats verbatim what he hears in Illuskan and it works. He creates three torch-sized lights above the table making them appear as orange glowing orbs that hover in the air for one minute. Vesta had actually created four colourful lanterns: blue, green, yellow, and red.
Vesta then explains the small book appears to be a ruse. It is magically locked but contains not actual spells or magic within. It had a written sentenced repeated over and over, in a beautiful script: "Bound by the Hues of the Rainbow and Gifted by the Winds of the Ancients." Telos believed, as does Vesta, that the horn is Queen Abasurallah's spell book albeit an audio spell book, not the decorative tome. Zander does not recognise the name of Queen Abasurallah but Vesta informs him there is a classic wives' tale or children's story that mentions a beautifully bound receptacle of the equally beautiful queen herself that contains all the world's magic. In some versions the the receptacle is a book. The queen or sultana from a far-off land is Abasurallah or Abbaz-Urallah.
Zander takes all this in, if what he heard is even close to being accurate then all they need do is find someone, a cleric able to cast a high-level spell, say Wish and cure Simza and her family's bloodline of the curse unless there are other elements involved. That person, cleric or other could be found. As he recalls, though only a wizard or sorcerer of 11th magnitude could cast Wish. Perhaps clerics have a lower-level spell that might work. Normally Remove Curse should do the trick, for that you would need a cleric, paladin, warlock, or wizard. Simza then produces a small roll of parchment and gives it to the curious human wizard who seems like he would help if he could.
Written in an old script Zander reads what is on the parchment:
Breaking the Curse of the Werwulf
Ancient lycanthropy curse, the victim is to spend Seven years a werwulf, before the last full moon the victim must be fully cured or suffer a lyfe of lycanthropy. If the victim is not fully cured any blood relations will also suffer the ancient blood curse; Seven years followed by their blood family cursed unless cured.
Before the last full moon of the Seventh year but after the Seventh full moon of the Fifth year the victim must undergo a blood ryte. The ritual must include a cleric and a druid. The victim must be painted in fresh wulf's blood and spend the nyght naked. After this the victim will involuntarily turn into a werwulf. The victim must be bound by silver shackles/manacles, each hand pierced by an iron spyke or nail soaked in wulfsbane for 24 hours, moon ryse to moon ryse. The victim must remain a werwulf for Three hours or more, after which the victim must be skinned. Once the wulf pelt is removed the victim and their family are cured of the ancient blood curse.
Before the skinning, the druid must cast the Polymorph spell which normally would not have an effect on a shape changer, within that hour the cleric must perform the ritual for Remove Curse in the victim’s native tongue.
So the discussion moves towards finding a druid and cleric, yet of what denomination? Isleen speaks of the elf god of Nature, Rillifane Rallathil then she lists Melora the Wildmother^, goddess of the wilderness revered by rangers, hunters and elves. Ilbrech mentions his god Silvanus, partner to Chauntea. Balvazar claims the goddess of Nature is Nylea^, as he looks at Isleen he notices a resemblance as Nylea appears as a green-skinned dryad with wooden extremities, whose hair is made of seasonally changing vines and leaves. Vesta mentions two gods of lycanthropy: Malar and Selûne. Then she says, "Lycanthropy is sometimes known by the euphemism 'Selûne's Kiss'; one so touched was said to be 'kissed by Selûne'. Did I just sound like Telos? I did, didn't I. Drats! I am not going to let that happen again."
^Not of any Faerun pantheon, these deities are worshipped on different planes of existance.
The changeling posing as an elf ranger asks the bartender if he knows of any nature temples nearby, say to Melora or Chauntea. Gjord'n is not a follower, but he is sure there are worship temples on this side of the city. They discuss breaking into two groups, one to look for a cleric and the other a druid. Balvazar seems more aligned with clerics. Fleurie, Ilbrech, and Isleen with a druid. Leaving Amnesty, Simza, Vesta, and Zander. Amnesty will look for a druid and the three others will join Balvazar looking for a cleric. Per the direction on the parchment, the cleric should speak Vistani.
The Crit Crew has been on the road for several days, it is suggested they find accommodation for the night first and begin searching in earnest at first light. Balvazar says there is a hostel nearby, or so he heard. Gjord'n recommends heading to the Murkdevil Inn just this side of Dolphin Bridge. "Take da bullivard outside north like youse headin' to d'Winged Wyvern Bridge, just as it comes inta view turn right, afta a block you'll enter a square. Can't miss it, big sign, black blob wit red eyes and teeth. Just the place fer rich adventurers such as youselfs.'Sides its near da Temple of Nahledge. Dat's da place to go ferst if youse searchin' fer stuff in Neverwinta."
On the way, the paladin stops at a couple of shops just before they close to by ingredient for his potion making. He spends upward of 200 gold, probably more than he had to. The locals did not recognise his coinage, so they upped the price a tad. Amnesty wants to see he 'family' again, alone. Vesta and Isleen pester him to go meet everyone but the bard eventually says no, not this night. After the bard splits off, Isleen and Vesta sneak behind him and try to follow him. Vesta has the dark vison and Isleen tracking ability, a pair made for mischief. As the pair move away from the others with a cordial wave, the half-elf sorcerer asks the changeling ranger, "If you hide yourself as an elf, how are you not like the deceivers, the con-artist?" Her tone is neutral without malice or judgment. Isleen quickly declares she does not steal. The two continue on in a strange city at night. They are able to find their way back to Strummings and Co. in time to see Amnesty head around to the back door. They find a narrow alley to hide in. A place to wait and watch.
The bard makes a quick glance about before moving into the building. He spots Vesta near an alleyway but fails to notice Isleen deep in the shadows. The tiefling makes a knowing gesture toward the sorcerer. Isleen saw it but Vesta missed it. He instead enters through the main entrance off the street. Inside is both Margis and Edgy, who reacts with surprise and glee at seeing his young protégé.
Just as he enters, Isleen enters as well with her dagger in hand. "Amnesty, you forgot your dagger. I wanted to make sure you have it because this is a dangerous city. You said so yourself. Here you go." She presents a woodland dagger with fine blade but rustic handle. Not a dagger a bard would carry but he takes it nonetheless as though it was his. The red skinned tiefling thanks the faux elf for her thoughtfulness. "Is this your family?" No one really pays much attention to Vesta who stands at the doorway.
Margis, a human begins to laugh as she looks towards her sibling. Edgy is also human. "These are good friends. They are the owners of Strummings and Co. This is Margis Jarvis, and her brother Edgy Jarvis. Their late parents opened the music store years ago and they now run it." Amnesty makes the introductions as he points to Vesta and Isleen. In rapid response the ranger asks Margis what her favourite instrument is, to which the owner points to a long-necked bowl lute with four fret strings with thirteen sympathic strings along the edge of the neck. She is asked what the instrument is called, Zi'tarz is the response. The talkative elf continues by asking what it sounds like. Margis removes the long, heavy instrument then hand it to Edgy who begins to pluck the fretted strings. As he plucks, he starts to vocalise and sub-vocalise creating two distinct sounds, one is deep while the other is a more classic tenor sound. The tenor voice speaks foreign words, whilst the bass is drone music.
Amnesia comes from behind the curtain. A beautiful light blue skinned tiefling. Isleen reacts with her high-pitched croon of excitement. No longer dresses as the waifish girl down on her luck, rather in stylish leather armour with exotic metal accents. Her face has makeup accents. And around her narrow waist is a thick leather belt with three daggers on her right and a metal spin book hanging on her left side. Despite their obvious difference in appearance, Isleen claims to see the family resemblance. Isleen blurts out a question, seeming out of the blue for Amnesia, "So you're the one that scammed our friend?"
Quick to react, the female tiefling quickly rebuts with questions as to inquire about the mentioned crime. Her response and questions neither confirm nor deny her role in taking Balvazar for 130 gold pieces. Isleen is completely divulges the scheme as she tries to get Amnesia to confess. The blue woman warns the green tinted elf to be wary of hawkers and shills in the big city. The woman continues to talk, bond, and carry on about Amnesty. The bard's sister is happy her brother has a companion like Isleen. They hug in friendship, as women do. Isleen immediately searches her outer possessions noting everything is in place save the dagger she presented to the bard. She delves into her backpack and finds the small metal statuette of a raven, at this point she notices for the first time since acquiring it back at the Carnath Roadhouse. The statue is damaged, a large dent has flattened the head of the raven. She utters a strange word then tosses down the metal bird, before it hits the ground it transforms into a live bird. Though not a raven, rather a great eared nightjar, the largest of the nighthawk family with an almost feline-looking head. Its distinct ears and frequently erect posture distinguish it from other types of nightjars.
Another crooning sound from Isleen is heard. She turns back to Vesta and jumps with joy, she is so very delighted and surprised. This unique bird is much better than the run-of-the-mill raven or crow. She continues her trilling of excitement. She completely misses the comment Amnesia makes about not trusting her new friend. Now with the bird, Edgy kindly asks Isleen to leave, for two reasons. One, no animals or pets in the shoppe. Two, they are closing for the day. The ranger begins to point out Zenith, the faerie dragon around Vesta's neck but the red mini-dragon is invisible at the moment. As the two women leave Amnesia comments that both young ladies are very attractive, a tease directed at her brother. Amnesty gives his companions some quick directions to Murkdevil Inn further up the road.
As the two women are talking and paying attention to their respective pets, they hear a scratching or skittering noise down a dark alley. The Isleen hears a soft brief moan. Vesta says she thinks she saw movement behind a stack of slatted wood boxes. The half-elf suggests getting to the inn before it gets too late, the changeling in the guise of an elf agrees, then asks her friend to cover her as she enters the dark, narrow passage between buildings. Isleen uses her innate ability to transform her appearance to a dark-haired drow. Looking very much the same as Isleen with darkened skin. She then rubs her tattoo and whispers to send a mental message to Amnesty. They are nearby, she is ducking into an alleyway, no problems so far, but just in case.
Sliding along the stone wall of the alley, a black pseudopod tendril reaches out to strike Isleen. Without dark vision, with no light save a light glow of a waxing moon, the drow looking ranger does not see her attacker. She takes blunt damage and even more corrosive damage. "Aahhhh. Something has me, it feels gloppy and burns." It pulls her closer to its center, a black pudding has attacked Isleen.
Amnesty makes a quick excuse to leave and hurries down the lane towards the shape and shadow of Vesta. He makes it to the alley. Both he and the sorceress have dark vision but have trouble making out the black pudding as it begins to consume their friend. Vesta calls to the bard as he passes by to enter the alley, "It a black pudding, a dangerous ooze creature." He hurls Isleen's dagger as it pierces the amorphous skin of the large ooze. It takes minimal damage. It eats the metal blade. Vesta shoots four magic missiles causing force damage. Isleen draws her shortsword aiming for the tendril pulling her, she slashes it without doing damage before the oozes natural corrosive form corrodes her sword blade, her leather armour is also damaged with acid. The bard draws his own longsword enhances it with a smite doing radiant but not slashing damage. Vesta has one of the Gith greatswords, thinking Amnesty would be better with it than her, she tells him it is magic so it should corrode like mundane weapons. The bard seems unsure of his skill with a heavier two-handed weapon but takes anyway.
Vesta then casts another series of magic missiles do the same damage. The black pudding takes another tendril swipe but misses Isleen. She is free of its grab, she sends her new nightjar after Ilbrech, he is the easiest to describe and spot. He should be walking the main thoroughfare north with a plea for help. She again swipes with shortsword slicing into to it. Everyone fails to notice a small glop of black pudding falls to the ground and moves deeper into the alley. Amnesty drops the two-handed magic blade to heal Isleen. Vesta thinks about what she knows of oozes, the black pudding is immune to acid, cold, lightning or slashing. She tells her two companions that cutting into it does no damage. She casts Scorching Ray hitting with three shards of fire, it reacts to the damage as her wild magic doubles the damage done.
The ooze, after taking fire damage begins to move up the stone in an attempt to escape. Drawing bow and magic arrows, the ranger focuses on the ooze with two arrows. Both penetrate, her ranger talent gives her extra damage and the oozed loses it viscosity and slops down on the alley floor with streams of acidic mist rising above it. The smaller ooze moves away in the darkness.
Not long after the warrior of the group arrive, Balvazar and Ilbrech. A quick recap of the events is relayed to explain what they encountered and how they killed it. Vesta suggests Ilbrech take the silvered greatsword she passed to Amnesty, it was too awkward for him to use but the barbarian could use it. He already has a magic longsword but likes the look of the Githyanki blade. He takes his longsword off his belt and straps it to his rucksack.
A few moments later the rest of the group finds the combatants. Again, the story is told. They all make it to the inn including Amnesty. Rooms are paid for, a silver over the regular rate but the accommodations are clean and comfortable. Each door has a secure bolt to lock the bed chambers, two people to a room: Simza and Fleurie, Vesta and Isleen, Balvazar and Zander, Ilbrech and Amnesty. Each room has a small window, 18" tall x 3" wide (essentially arrow slits). The bard, never having roomed with the barbarian, sees his nightly ritual of removing his clothes and washing himself head to toe with water provided. He offers a prayer to Herne with the hope that the rays of the moon light carry his message. He then puts back on his well-worn plaid trews and retires to his bed. The spear stands upright against the wall at the head of the bed, within easy reach of Ilbrech.
Simza and Fleurie whisper into the night, the vistana cook is so close now to removing her curse. Vesta and Isleen also chat into the night, they speak of their respective 'pets', the changeling says she needs a name for her nightjar. They gossip a bit about Amnesty's sister and 'family'. Balvazar stays up for a while working on his alchemical processes. He sorts through some new components, documents his purchases, and what he plans to use them for while Zander watches. Neither speak much. Amnesty asks Ilbrech of his thought over the last few days but quickly realises the large fighter is fast asleep. Cu is on the floor and gives the tiefling a muffled response before turning in circles and settling in for the night.
Moments after falling asleep, Isleen wakes up remembering she wanted to send a message with the Rook Society: "Mister Astrid complication came up. Have book but need more time to get back. Should be back within a tenday after Greengrass. Response is prepaid." She sends a message to Amnesty asking him to remind her in the morning.